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Poland Cycling Holidays

Cycling the Polish Tatras and Krakow

Overview

This self guided cycling tour will take you through the cosy villages and towns located in picturesque valleys and dales of the Tatra and Pieniny mountains. During most of the trip you will be cycling along the Dunajec River and visit two National Parks and three UNESCO-listed sites, including the magnificent Krakow, as well as many other places off the standard beaten tourist track. The cycling goes through quiet roads with wonderful views over the surrounding mountains.

  • Tatra mountains
  • Dunajec Gorge
  • Local Highlander culture and wooden architecture
  • City of Krakow

Click to view map

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Krakow

Arrive at your hotel in Krakow on your own. Depending on the timing of your flight, you will have the rest of the day to explore the cultural riches of the old Polish capital.

Day 2: Zakopane and the Tatra Mountains | 45 km

A morning car transfer takes you to Zab, the country’s highest village, from where you cycle downhill to Zakopane, passing beneath through the foothills of the High Tatras.

  • Cycling distance: 45 km, ­↑377m ↓513m
  • Accommodation: Czarny Potok or similar

Day 3: Zakopane – Nowy Targ | 55 km

Today’s destination is Nowy Targ, capital of the Gorals, the Polish Highlanders. The route passes through the villages of Dzianisz and Chocholow, famous for their authentic wooden houses.

  • Cycling for the day: 55 km, ↑405m ↓680m
  • Accommodation: Hotel Gorce or similar

Day 4: Niedzica Castle | 61 km

After breakfast you head to the town of Niedzica, exploring the sites on the way such as the 15th century wooden church in Debno as well as the impressive local Hungarian castle.

Day 5: Loop to Slovakian Stara Lubovna Castle | 45 km

You can spend the day relaxing at the hotel next to the Dunajec canyon or cycle to the ancient castle in Stara Lobovna on the Slovakian side of the border.

Day 6: Dunajec Gorge | 65 km

Today you will explore one of the highlights of the tour –  the canyon of Dunajec, with its limestone cliffs rising 200 metres above the river. You will then cross the border with Slovakia on a bridge passing by the Red Monastery.

  • Cycling for the day: 65 km, ↑990 m ↓1020 m
  • Accommodation: Hotel Nawigator or similar

Day 7: Krakow

A transfer takes you back to Krakow after breakfast. In the afternoon, you will have a chance for personal sightseeing of the Old Town, Market Square, and the Jewish Quarter.

Day 8: Departure

Departure on your own or extension upon request.

What to Expect

Accommodation

Accommodation is in charming 3*** hotels, all with en-suite facilities and included breakfast. We have chosen accommodations that are close to the national parks and cycle paths. All places have been carefully hand-picked by us, and their quality is regularly monitored. We have tried to choose accommodations that offer friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour.

Click to view default hotels

*Hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates it will be replaced with a hotel of equal value and quality level. We will provide to you full accommodation details upon booking confirmation.

Meals

Breakfast is included. Picnic lunches can be pre-ordered locally. Dinner is available either from the restaurant in the hotel or from several restaurants in towns and villages where the accommodation is located. Most restaurants offer local specialities as well as international cuisine. Try traditional spirits called Horec or Tatra Tea. These are the typical spirits for the High Tatras and are made of herbs. Be careful – they are quite strong.

Difficulty & terrain

The average daily cycling distance is 50 km, and all the routes go on quiet local roads (read more about difficulty grades). The roads are mostly undulating, and a good level of fitness is required for enjoying the cycling paths to the maximum.

The routes are described in detail in the information pack that you are going to receive, and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime.

When to go

This trip is available from the start of May until the end of September. The flexibility of self guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates and you can start your holiday on any date in the season. The Polish Carpathian mountains lie in the temperate zone of Central Europe. They are an important barrier to the movements of air masses. The average temperatures vary from 14 degrees in May to 20 in August. Highest precipitation occurs in June. On average rainfall occurs 180 days a year.

Getting there

Up-to-date FCO travel advice on Slovakia is available here and on Poland – here.

Click to view travel options and route planner

By plane

Recommended arrival and departure airport: Krakow (KRK).

By train or bus
  • Krakow Airport is the largest regional airport in Poland. The airport is located 11 km west of Kraków. The train is considered the best solution from the airport to Krakow’s city centre for its travel time and cost. The train is available from 5:18 am to 12:15 am and has services every 30 minutes. The journey from Krakow airport to the city centre will take 20 minutes, and the ticket fare is approx. €2.5. Cost of taxi from/to airport to the city centre would be approx. 70 PLN (€17).

Included

Included

  • 7 nights accommodation in en-suite rooms (as described in the itinerary) with breakfast included
  • Introductory meeting with a company representative at the beginning of the trip
  • All luggage transportation between the hotels
  • Detailed pre-departure holiday information pack including GPS-checked and regularly updated route descriptions and road note; maps with daily routes and optional hikes marked
  • GPS tracks
  • 24/7 phone support by our local office/representative

Excluded

  • Airfare and airport transfers
  • Lunches, dinners, drinks and snacks
  • Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
  • Personal expenses
  • Any items not specifically mentioned as included in the programme

Options, extras & supplements

  • Single room supplement for members of a group
  • This holiday is available for solo travellers upon request only; a supplement will be charged as accommodation and luggage transfer costs are not shared (we never mix and match – solo travellers will be accommodated in single rooms)
  • Guided tour of Wieliczka Salt Mine near Krakow with return transport
  • Guided tour of Auschwitz-Birkenau memorial museum near Krakow with return transport
  • Half Board (add 7 evening meals)
  • Extra nights in Krakow available upon request
  • Bike rental
  • Airport transfer from/to Krakow airport

Bike rental

We offer for rent standard hybrid bikes equipped with 27-speed Shimano derailleur gears or our E-bikes with Bosch driving system, 7-speed Shimano Nexus hub gears. Both options come equipped with waterproof back pannier and handlebar bag with a plastic cover for GPS/smartphone.

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